It was a strong show of support evident in customers at the Wilmington Market Basket Thursday morning. Hugs were abundant as customers congratulated employees who were touched with emotion by the compassion of their loyal shoppers back for the first time since workers and shoppers alike boycotted the chain in solidarity with employees fighting to bring back their former CEO.
Carts were full and shoppers were milling the aisles as Market Basket workers throughout the 71 store chain got back to business following the announcement Wednesday night that Arthur T. Demoulas’ offer to purchase the remaining 50.5 percent of the shares of the company was approved by board members and shareholders.
Now the real work begins.
Trucks started moving Thursday morning amid heavy activity at the Tewksbury warehouse, which laid dormant for almost two months. Employees were back at their posts all in an effort to get the stores restocked as soon as possible following Wednesday’s announcement.
The work stoppage means the shelves, which are normally filled with produce, meats and dairy, are waiting to be restocked. Non-perishables were aplenty in the Wilmington Market Basket Thursday morning.
Food vendors are also getting their shipments ready, The Boston Globe is reporting.
One Market Basket assistant manager told The Globe if headquarters sends a truck they will get the whole placed stocked in a matter of hours with all employees helping out.
What will it take to stock the shelves of stores void of perishable items for nearly two months? According to The Globe, the stores need upward of 12,000 cases of beef, 120 truckloads of produce, 187 tons of chicken, more than 3,700 tons of dairy products and more.
Market Basket officials are hoping to have some items back in stock by week’s end with smaller shipments, according to the Globe. Other items may not be in stock until early next week.
(Photo: Signs hang outside the Wilmington Market Basket thanking customers. Credit: Liz Taurasi)